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Vermont Cancelled Ski Areas
Dorset Hollow Ski Area
Dorset, Vermont
Proposed in the 1960s
Dorset Hollow Ski Area location map Overview
Located north of Manchester, Dorset Mountain is a 3,770 foot tall mountain located between Route 30 and US 7.

Lift served skiing existed in the area briefly during the 1930s, when Fred Pabst developed a J-Bar served ski area on Mt. Aeolus. The area was quitely shut down and the lift relocated to his Bromley ski area.

Rumblings of a major ski development in Dorset Hollow date back to at least the mid 1960s, when a land grab commenced. During winter 1964-65, Sel Hannah was hired to conduct a feasibility study.

Plans to build a massive ski resort in Dorset were officially announced by Dorset Associates on October 8, 1965. Within days of the announcement, local opposition emerged.

A Manchester Chamber of Commerce brochure advertisement announced a planned December 1966 opening of the area, which was marketed as having the largest vertical drop (3000 feet) of any ski area in Eastern North America.

The proposed first phase of the project included two double chairlifts and one T-Bar on Netop Mountain for the 1966-67 season, with a base area near the former Camp Wynakee complex.

Dorset Mountain as seen from Bromley Mountain
Dorset Mountain as seen from the east from Bromley Mountain

The overall project called for one aerial tramway, nine double chairlifts, two T-Bars, four base lodges, 16 miles of ski trails, and 70 acres of open slopes, covering six mountain peaks. In addition to the ski facilities, a golf course, tennis courts, pools, horse stables, a village, 100 chalets, and up to 250 hotel rooms. The developers, Dorset Associates, Inc., were in ownership and/or control of the 3,000 acres slated for the project.

Dorset Associates, Inc. was led by President George B. Breen (an original promoter of nearby Stratton a few years earlier), Vice President & General Manager Christopher Swezey Jr., secretary Thomas Martin, and treasurer Frederick W. Tetzlaff. Related companies included real estate developers Potentials Inc. and Swezey Lumber Company. Sel Hannah completed a feasibility study for Sno-Engineering, Inc. E.H. Lord-Wood Associates created the resort Master Plan.

The project was apparently cancelled in 1966 due to local opposition.

The October 8, 1965 Dorset Hollow Announcement
The October 8, 1965 Dorset Hollow Announcement

An October 1965 rendering of Dorset Hollow Ski Area
An October 1965 rendering of Dorset Hollow Ski Area

A 1965 photo of Netop Mountain, the proposed first phase of the Dorset Hollow Ski Area
A 1965 photo of Netop Mountain, the proposed first phase of the Dorset Hollow Ski Area

Netop Mountain (2010)
Netop Mountain (2010)

1965 Dorset Hollow Advertisement
1965 Dorset Hollow Advertisement

1965 Manchester Chamber of Commerce Location Map
1965 Manchester Chamber of Commerce Location Map

1965 Manchester Chamber of Commerce Location Map
1965 Manchester Chamber of Commerce Location Map

Dorset Peak Summit (2010)
Dorset Peak Summit (2010)

Today
There are no known remains of the Dorset Hollow Ski Area proposal.

Quotes
Major components planned for these activity areas to date are:
Area A - Village, golf course and club, swimming pool, tennis courts, double chairlift, T-bar ski school;
Area B - Resort hotel, base lodge, swimming pool, tennis courts, two double chairlifts, T-bar;
Area C - Base lodge, two double chairlifts;
Area D - Base lodge, three double chairlifts;
Areas E, F - Wilderness area: chalet sites, pond, picnic and camping areas;
Area G - Base area at Emerald Lake State Park, one double chairlift and aerial tramway, base lodge;
Areas H, I - Warming shelters at top of each lift with restaurant at Area J.
Bennington Banner, October 8, 1965


There's a nasty little story developing about the proposed Dorset Mountain ski area (near Manchester). Rich old blood live in this area, and Potentials, Inc., a money hungry land development-real estate outfit is promoting it with help of outsiders...
Internal ski publication memo, December 2, 1965


Anyway, rich old blood and even some young blood are complaining about the "rape" of Dorset mountain and its tranquil beauty destroyed by ski trails scarring the landscape and "those skiers" invading their privacy.

Area is scheduled for development next year.
Internal ski publication memo, December 2, 1965


I am sure Roland Palmedo would say something about it (he has place on Dorset mountain, looked over potential of area 20 years ago).
Internal ski publication memo, December 2, 1965


Resources
  • Dorset Historical Society
  • Dorset Mountain - Wikipedia
  • Dorset Peak - FranklinSites.com Hiking Guide
  • Otis, Nancy H. "Multimillion Dollar Resort Area Going Up in Dorset Hollow" Bennington Banner. 8 Oct. 1965.


  • Last updated: March 28, 2014
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